26 Mar 2024 – AGM and online Demo by Mike Mahoney

 In Committee Meetings, Online Demos


Our usual members joined for the AGM which as usual goes really well online, all relevant information and paperwork is sent out prior to the meeting so that members can raise any issues they may have, it was agreed that trustees and committee members would continue for another year; Mick Close has decided to step back from his position on the Committee and as a Trustee and was thanked sincerely for his several years of service and dedication to the club, everyone agrees he has been the backbone of the organisation for a very long time. Mick is still a very active member within the club, and we hope he can carry on doing so.

On to the demonstration with Mike Mahoney, he joined us online from his home and workshop in a beautiful part of Shenandoah Valley, California. Mike is predominately a production bowl turner; however, he has his own vineyard and is also a farmer and winemaker. We had a video tour of his homestead with Mike describing the whole setup.

This was a different demonstration from others we have seen recently, in as much, Mike had a selection of pre recorded videos which he shared with us and talked over the particular topics; starting with various types of timber which is obviously very knowledgeable and passionate about: English Walnut, red and white Oak and even the giant Redwood, which we have a huge collection of in the UK. Moving on from which woods are best for a particular job, Mike showed how best to cut up your timber for best results comparing Plain, Quarter sawn vs rift sawn boards and gave examples of the difference in how the grain shows itself in your blanks.

With a blank about 14inches by 2 inches quarter sawn timber Mike talked us through the whole process of mounting, chucking and shaping a large platter, explaining all the stages of tool presentation, shaping and proportions and finally onto finishes. We also had a short video on a Coring jig, which enables the user to make several bowls of decreasing sizes from one larger blank.

The point was made that however good your turning might be, the appropriate finish and consideration should be given to whether it is for its aesthetic look or for its practical use and Mike covered all bases from waxes to acrylics and all the various oils, whilst taking into consideration safety, durability and ultimately marketability.

Towards the end of the evening, we had a video and discussion on various tool preferences relating to bevels, angles and sharpening techniques suitable for use on different types of timber, Mike made the point that these were only his opinions, and that each turner should find whatever suits their own particular style. We had some good interactions on the evening, although it was a different format to our usual.

Thank you to Mike for sharing your life and knowledge with the club.

Thank you Zak for providing the write up and the screenshots, which to see the others, please check out the Gallery HERE.

And lastly,

Well that’s March done and we move on to our next meeting which is the Hands on Night in the Village Hall, West Ashby on the 9 Apr 2024.  Hope to see you there.

Our next Training Day is on Sat 13 Apr 2024, which is now fully booked.  Missed out? Well fear not, we have plenty more for you throughout the year.  The next one which still has one 3hr session left in the morning is on the 15 Jun 2024.  After that, we have one in Sept and one in Nov, both of which have loads of available slots, so get booked now before they go.  Go to our Training Day page HERE.

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Showing 9 comments
  • Mick Close

    An excellent write up Zac of a very different presentation. Many useful items for new turners and refreshers for for use oldies. Would have liked to see him actually live on the lathe and produce something.

  • Chris Fisher

    I agree with Mick. That wasn’t a demonstration, it was like watching pre loved rented videos. We should have a policy, no turning, no fee.
    I was not impressed.

  • Paul Tunmore

    Different perspective on demo and covered a lot of ground , constant use of wooden platters seems a bit unhygienic to me , not worrying about scratches and stains in them would worry me but the I don’t have rattle snakes living under my house either. Some was very confusing particularly the sharpening 9f tools any newbies would be flummoxed . A lot covered but I do prefer turning demos

  • Chris Fisher

    Well said Paul. I particularly liked your use of the word “flummoxed,”its now my word of the day.🤣🤣

  • Rob Smyth

    To say I was unimpressed would be a polite way of putting it. His knowledge and subject matter was good, however it’s a first to have a demo with no turning. I was gob smacked at this approach I’m sure the definition of the word needs to be explained to Mr Mahoney !!

  • Chris Fisher

    Thanks for your comment Rob, we do need to know the members thoughts. We would all love more feedback from our members.
    Well said Rob.👍👍

  • Rob Collin

    Nice write up as ever Zac.
    I’m not sure whether you knew beforehand that there would be no turning during the ‘demo’ (and I would say, it’s not a question I would think needed to be asked) but if you didn’t know I think it’s rather remiss of Mike not to inform you.
    Whilst I did find many of the items interesting, his delivery wasn’t the best and the videos wern’t made to be narrated to as he had to keep pausing and fast forwarding which made it difficult to follow.
    I do like the demos where they do an amount of add-libbing and get a discussion going as long as there is some live turning involved as well.

  • Zak

    I have always steered away from turners offering video/narrated demos as they don’t appeal as I have been aware of for sometime, the list advised was
    Remote demo:-
    Bowl coring
    quarter sawn oak platter
    drinking cup
    how I make a bowl
    seasoning wood
    shear scraping
    tool design and grinding
    pepper mills
    wood finishes for woodturners
    The Walnut story
    Seeing figure in trees
    no mention they were pre recorded; so I was as unaware as well. Lessen learned.

    Keep your eyes peeled for next year.

  • Chris Fisher

    I think that sounds great….do you think we should book him.🤣🤣🤣

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